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Meet our new Priests for 2020

by Michael Ford last modified 24 Sep, 2020 09:11 PM

On Saturday 26th September, Bishop Karen and Bishop Andrew will ordain 7 Deacons from our Diocese as Priests, in 3 separate locations.

The 4 men and 3 women have been serving in urban parishes and rural benefices across the Diocese from Canalside in the north west to Swanage and Studland in the south east.

They include a project worker for Dorset Youth Association, a microbiologist, a former head teacher who had lunch with the Queen, a frequent visitor to Kenya, and a former chef from 2 of our local Dorset retreat communities.

Their hobbies include circus acrobatics and extreme picnicking.

We catch up with 2 of them below, and will meet the rest next week.

Meet our new Priests for 2020- Richard Saint

Despite lockdown, the Revd Dr Richard Saint has been enjoying his time at Southbroom St James in Devizes, assisting with online services and Bible studies, setting up the parish's new community centre SJC (St James Centre), and teaching.

As a former Senior Research Microbiologist and Staff Officer, he has found that his background in analytical thinking, teamwork, leadership and communication has served him well in challenging times.

Now 35, with a wife, a young son and 2 guinea pigs, he says:

"The best bit of being a deacon was getting to see and be involved in the full breadth of what St James’ Church does, and seeing the passion of the congregation to follow where God is leading them.

"I'm really looking forward to the opening of our SJC community centre and seeing the church share God’s love even more with the community of Devizes.

With cycling and cooking among his hobbies, Richard has learned perseverance and determination, alongside his rigorous research background.

When we asked him what he would find challenging, he said:

"Still not being able to meet together as the full St James Church family to sing praises to God."

But despite this possibility, his trademark sense of humour remains intact as he quips:

"When my beard was really long during lockdown, Snapchat filters thought my head was upside down as there was more hair on my chin than on my scalp!

Meet our new Priests for 2020- Roger Leake

The Revd Roger Leake also has a background in biology, albeit as a teacher instead of a scientist. This has proven useful, along with experience as a headteacher and school inspector, in providing excellent collective worship in schools.

Teaching runs in the family: Roger has lived in boarding schools most of his working life, and he and his wife Gill have 2 grown up children, Timothy and Katy, who are both teachers. Grandchildren Reuben and Julia have a template to follow, should they wish to.

Based in the rural benefice of Chalke Valley, Roger has enjoyed "Leading services and not making important decisions (!) and being welcomed by the parishioners."

This year, he looks forward to "Being used in the benefice more, leading communion services, and getting to know more of the parishioners."

Taking a realistic view, he says:

I'm not looking forward to the lockdown restrictions continuing to impede pastoral visiting, singing and the gathering of large groups."

Now 60, he continues to juggle a number of hobbies including kayaking, kite flying, gardening, cycling, DIY, reading, Zorb instructor. Will these carry on into being a priest?

"Yes, and kayaking has proved to be a good shared activity with social distancing!"


Please pray for our new Priests:

Joy Albone       Canalside Benefice
Fiona Beale     Beaminster area
Roger Leake    Chalke Valley
Matt Renyard   Radipole & Melcombe Regis
Richard Saint   Southbroom St James
Solveig Sonet   Swanage and Studland
Lyndon Webb   Broadstone

Saturday 26 September:
At 11.00am, Bishop Karen will ordain Solveig Sonet and Lyndon Webb to the priesthood at Swanage and Bishop Andrew will ordain Joy Albone, Roger Leake and Richard Saint at Edington.
Then at 3.00pm Bishop Karen will ordain Fiona Beale and Matt Renyard at Weymouth.

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